To complement our Spring 2014 issue on the controversial bestselling book and film The Help, we caught up with Azie Dungey, creator and star of “Ask A Slave.” The web series is based on real interactions Dungey had while portraying a slave character at George Washington’s Mount Vernon. Here, Dungey discusses what it is like to engage with historic narratives.
For our January feature, civil rights pioneer and legislator Julian Bond recalls his career in teaching and the role of ordinary people in carrying a movement: “Young people need to know that people like themselves did this. It wasn’t always these magical figures like Dr. King. So that’s the way I developed my lectures, and that’s the way I teach my lectures now.”
Our Winter 2013 issue features an essay by NCMA curator John W. Coffey on the curious provenance of a bust of John C. Calhoun. Marred during the Civil War, the bust was originally covered with cosmetics before being displayed at the North Carolina Museum of Art. Here, Coffey and NCMA conservator Bill Brown discuss their decision to remove the make-up for display and privilege one aspect of the bust’s story.
For our Fall 2013 issue, Remembering the Civil War, historian Blain Roberts wrote about attending Charleston’s secession gala and NAACP protest of it in 2010. Here, she discusses how the events of 150 years ago are not merely relegated to history—they resonate in a contemporary political climate. As Roberts observes, “Nostalgia is not about the past.”
To complement our Fall 2013 issue Remembering the Civil War, we caught up with film producer and researcher Brent Feito, who began participating in Civil War reenactments at age 9. Here, Brent describes how reenacting accelerated his appreciation for history and for the sacrifices that make history so compelling, those “stories of [ordinary people] interacting . . . and finding meaning in each other’s experiences.”
Our Fall 2013 issue Remembering the Civil War presents photos by Matthew P. Shelton. To create them, Shelton deconstructed Bell Irvin Wiley’s Embattled Confederates: An Illustrated History of Southerners at War (Harper & Row, 1964). “Like a failing dam, what began as one spontaneous hole gave way to a compulsive perforation,” writes Shelton. “I drilled until the book was lace.” Take a look at Shelton’s process here.